With all of the rain we have been getting in Colorado, you may be thinking about flood insurance, but don’t forget that with rising waters comes the beauty and fun that boating has to offer! So this summer, don’t forget that boaters need to take necessary precautions to be safe during the summer season, the time of year when boat accident claims increase in frequency.
Substantially more people are on the water during the summer, so that is the time boaters should be extra careful to protect their family, friends and watercraft from a loss. It’s also a good time to review your boat and yacht insurance with an independent agent to be sure you have adequate coverage! As a small anecdote, I remember a few years ago at Lake McConaughy in Nebraska my grandfather was trying to get the boat out of the lake during a particularly bad storm. The waves were so strong they were tossing the boat around like it was a football at an NFL Broncos training camp. Pretty soon, he had the boat centered and ready to pull up onto the trailer when a huge wave caught the stern of the boat and threw it directly into the back window of his Chevy Tahoe…now I bet he wishes he had better insurance coverage!
We recommend the following boat safety tips:
· Wear a life jacket: 80 percent of drowning victims were not wearing a PFD (Personal Flotation Device) or life jacket. Most states require that children under a certain age wear a life jacket and that every boat be equipped with one life jacket per passenger.
· Take a boating course: Even if your state does not mandate the completion of a boating course prior to obtaining your boating license, both you and your passengers will benefit from a formalized course. To learn more about boating safety classes, visit http://cgaux.org/boatinged.
· Schedule a vessel safety check: The Coast Guard auxiliary offers free safety checks. For more information, visit www.vesselsafetycheck.org/getvsc or http://www.uscgboating.org/default.aspx.
· Equip your boat with an emergency kit and be familiar with how to use each of the items. We recommend including the following: fire extinguisher, first aid kit, visual distress signal and/or a Coast Guard-approved throwable PFD, such as a life ring or a horseshoe. Organize an emergency plan and make sure that passengers are familiar with it. Remember to test equipment and be knowledgeable of the suggested guidelines for usage and replacement.
· Be prepared for the weather: Check the weather forecast before going on the water and be equipped for changes…because in Colorado nobody knows what the weather will do, especially not the weather man!
· Know where you are: The Coast Guard recommends having charts, a GPS (Global Positioning System) and a reliable means of communication on board.
· Know how to contact the Coast Guard: Marine radio is the preferred method to communicate on the water because it broadcasts to other boaters in the vicinity. If using a cell phone on the water, test it for a maritime emergency by dialing *CG (*24). There is no charge or penalty for calling to test the signal.
· Do not drink and drive: According to the Coast Guard, a boat operator with a blood alcohol level of .10 percent is 10 times more likely to be killed in a boating accident than a boat operator with a blood alcohol level of zero. Operating a boat while drinking is illegal in several states. Remember that the effects of alcohol are exacerbated when combined with sun exposure and being on the water.
For information and quotes on insurance coverage, please don’t hesitate to give us a call or email us, we are here for YOU!
Union Colony Insurance
1218 8th Ave
Greeley Co, 80631
This picture is of my (Summer's) grandpa's boat over 30 years ago at Lake McConaughy. It has been a family tradition to go to this lake near Ogallala Nebraska ever since I was born!